Frequently asked questions
Why do we need CCS: Climate change
How will CCS help us tackle climate change?
There is an urgent need to tackle climate change and we need “all the tools in the box” to do so; we cannot tackle climate change effectively without CCS. Measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including more electric cars, will mean we need more electricity; and CCS is an unavoidable option if we are to ensure that we can meet this electricity demand with an acceptable carbon footprint.
To meet our UK climate change targets, we will need to decarbonise the power sector by the 2030s, and the heavy industry sector beyond that. We cannot do this without CCS.
How will CCS help us decarbonise our economy?
The International Energy Agency has also estimated that to achieve a 50% cut in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 (widely believed to be equivalent to limiting the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees), CCS will need to contribute nearly one fifth of emissions reductions, across both power and industrial sectors.
The International Energy Agency has also estimated that by 2050, the cost of tackling climate change without CCS could be 70% higher than with CCS. The message from EU estimates is similar: 40% higher without CCS by 2030.
CCS is currently the only option for decarbonising the steel, chemical and cement industries.
How much CO2 will CCS capture globally?
One 900 MW CCS coal-fired power plant could abate around 5 million tonnes of CO2 a year. If, as projected, 80-120 commercial CCS projects are operating in Europe by 2030, they would abate some 400-600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
By 2050, CCS could reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 0.6 to 1.7 billion tonnes in the EU and by 9 to 16 billion tonnes worldwide.
Is CCS the most cost effective way to tackle climate change?
We need to consider every “tool in the box” to tackle climate change – and analyses show that we cannot tackle climate change and meet our energy needs without CCS. Per unit of electricity, CCS is one of the cheapest of the low-carbon technologies. Per household, the first UK CCS plants will cost less than £2/month.